Minutes of the Meeting of the Friends of Blairs on Sunday 27 January 2008 at St Bridget’s, Baillieston.



Those present:  Peter Creron  (Chair)

                         David McCann

                         Brian McGuire

                         Anne Caruana

                         John O’Donnell

                         John Brown

                         Mgr J McIntyre


                         Raymond Caruana (Minutes)


Apologies:       James Cassidy (Secretary)

                        Peter Gorman

                        Mandy Murray


  1. The Meeting opened with a short prayer followed by a welcome by the Chair.


  1. Minutes of the Previous Meeting. These were proposed by John O’Donnell and seconded by David McCann.


  1. Matters arising:


Ceilidh   Tickets for the Ceilidh are now available for sale. Unfortunately the original choice of band is not now available due to other commitments but a provisional booking has been made with another. The Committee agreed to go with this alternative.


When issuing the latest Newsletter, the Bishops were told of the Ceilidh. An approach has been made to Celtic Football Club for a signed football. A response is awaited. It was agreed that if there was fee, thought to be £60, then the Association would pay this.


As for fund raising activities on the night, there may be the possibility of a slide show on Fr Colin’s Mission in Ecuador to encourage fund raising. A CD of photos of the Mission from Fr Colin  is awaited and it is hoped to receive this before the Ceilidh. Suggestions made for fund raising on the night included raffles; a couple of comedy sketches; and roll for the bottle. Final details will be decided at the next meeting prior to the Ceilidh.


There may be a possibility of a donation from the “Fr O’Mahoney Trust  which had been set up to give instant help in certain situations.


The Committee agreed that on this occasion all funds raised should go to Fr Colin’s Mission. If the event is a success then perhaps the event or another could be run for other Missions/ causes e.g. that of Fr Martin Chalmers.


It was agreed also that mention of the Ceilidh should be included on the Website and a report of the event in the next Newsletter. Future intentions would be included in subsequent Newsletters.


Other Fund Raising: The Committee agreed that it would not proceed with the fund raising Scheme suggested by the Chair at the previous Meeting.


Video/ Film of College: Mgr McIntyre reported that it may still be possible to obtain a copy of the film of the College. He is pursuing this.


The film made by Fr Kane, Professor at the College in the 50s’/ 60’s, is currently held in the Catholic Archives. It may be possible to convert this to a DVD but it would take private funding to do this. It was pointed out that for the Archives themselves to do it, it may take a couple of years.


It was suggested that perhaps some of the photographs/ slide collections currently in the Archives could be displayed in the corridor in the museum or beside the Chapel. Concern was expressed, however, that there may be issues surrounding the Data Protection Act in using the photographs. It was agreed that this issue should be checked out.


Concert in Chapel: It was decided that because of the shortage in time to arrange, it would not be possible to go ahead with this but, instead, to have a speaker. This will be taken forward.


Annual Mass: The Chair had written to Archbishop Conti and asked if the Memorial Mass could be held in Glasgow Cathedral and if he would officiate.

A reply is awaited. The Mass may have to be the Mass of the day but include mention in the prayers of the mass intention.



  1. History Group:


The Group has been renamed the History Liaison Steering Group and comprises Mandy, Mgr, Dave and Andrew Nichol of the Scottish Catholic Archives. The Group met on the 21st January and decided to restart the audit of all history based resources held by the Friends of Blairs. A similar exercise would be undertaken by the Museum. The Archives already has a list. Following the exercise it will be possible to see what records are held.


As for the oral history project, Mandy was still interested in pursuing this.


Contact had been made with Strathclyde University (School of Scottish Studies). They have shown an interest and this project may move forward in time.


As for other contact made by Andrew these have not produced anything.


In some of these the Friends of Blairs may have to act as sponsors.



It was suggested that the Committee should write a short paper to let the Heritage Commission know what the Group ( FOB)  are doing and would like to do.


Once the various projects had started, only then would the Group expand.


  1. Report by Mandy Murray


In her absence Mandy had submitted a written report. From this the Committee had identified two issues. The first centred on the FOB membership of the Museum and the second on the Association is the Friends of Blairs or Friends of the Museum?


The status of the Association and that of the Museum were discussed.  In the case of the latter, it was pointed out that the Museum is a Trust.


There could be a case of developing the Association’s relationship with the Museum. Currently FOB members receive a discount when visiting the Museum, including for the AGM.


As for the second issue, as the Museum is a Trust, we cannot intervene. Any suggestion on expanding the relationship to a formal level would have to come from the Trust itself and not from Mandy. She could make an approach, however, to the Trust. The Association thereafter would have to consider any proposal put forward.


Mgr pointed out that that the FOB Constitution set out the aims of the Association. The FOB’s had and is trying to put over the history of the College; that is a remit the FOB’s have given themselves. The Association had also an unspoken aim of being a network of ex-pupils and he wondered if there was anything that could be done that the Association was not already doing.


It was agreed that the Association should await any approach from the Trust.


The Chair asked for clarification from the Mgr on the future financing of the Museum. Mgr pointed out that under the present proposals there is a proviso that the Museum would continue to exist as part of the amenity of the place. It was also the intention that the Church would be there.


Most of the finance for the Museum comes from the Menzies Trust which is overseen by the Bishops. If the Trust were to dry up then the Museum would close. The current view is that the original legacy – Catholic Education - is still relevant and that the Museum falls within this. As for the future, it is not possible what will happen as there are many issues involved.


Muir Group Plans have not as yet been approved by Aberdeen Council.




  1. It is understood that the Painting discussed previously was now complete. It was suggested that prints of the Painting may be worth pursuing. Mgr

     asked if anyone knew if Blairs was still included in the “1,000 Churches To

     Visit”? It was not known.


  1. Treasurer’s Report.


The total Funds available for use in the General Account stood at £1,531.31 while the balance available in the Special Projects Account, including the Ecuador Project, stood at £2,057.94. Currently the Ecaudor Project stood at £1,000.


Total Funds excluding Ecuador stand at £2,589.25.


  1. Membership


Current membership stands at 63 although more are expected to join.


  1. Next Meeting


The next meeting will be held on Sunday 9 March at 19.30 in St Bridget’s, Baillieston.


     10.  The Meeting closed with a short prayer led by Mgr McIntyre.